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Marks of Distinction


In 2014, GCC was designated a Veteran Supportive Campus by the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services and was one of only two colleges in the state to receive that distinction.

The “Career Me “ online quiz application received a national Paragon Award, a Gold Medallion from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations, a Bronze Service Industry Advertising Award, and the GCC Innovation of the Year award in 2012.  

Since 2010, GCC has been a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a U.S. Department of Education designation granted to institutions of higher education with at least 25% Hispanic student enrollment.

GCC College Advancement Services has won eight Medallion Awards, three SIAA Awards, and one Paragon Award for Excellence in advertising, design, and media coverage.

GCC was designated in 2012 as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs, a national magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life.

In 2011 President Irene Kovala signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, solidifying GCC’s campus-wide focus on sustainability.

In 2012 Ken Bus was appointed Fulbright Ambassador, the only ambassador ever appointed to this group from a community college.


The GCC Guitar Ensemble group won the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Ensemble Showcase Competition in the category of University: Large Ensemble (five or more players.)

The GCC Forensics team took first place among community colleges, and fourth overall, at the 2010 International Forensic Association Tournament in Berlin, Germany.

In 2012 the GCC Speech and Debate team won 1st Place at the Fall Swing Tournament, and four individual competitors took 1st Place in their categories.

The spring 2012 production of the musical “Working” earned six nominations for seven students to compete for scholarships at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in February 2013.

David Seitz, Performing Arts Faculty, and students have received more than 75 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival nominations.

The GCC Band was the first college band ever selected to perform at the Arizona Music Education Association's state convention.

In April 2013  Beau Grothendick, a GCC biotechnology student, was one of 20 students named to the 2013 All-USA Community College Academic Team. As the top scorer in Arizona Grothendick received the New Century scholarship from The Coca-Cola Foundation and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. 


Dr. René Díaz-Lefebvre received the 2014 Distinguished Padrino Recognition for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 6th Biennial Conference of the National Latina/o Psychological Association (NLPA). 

The wife and husband team of Holly McKenzie Beene and Leon Beene are Fulbright Scholars Grantees.

Dr. Carlo Nunez-Noriega Honored was honored Outstanding Latino Faculty in Higher Ed by the Victoria Foundation.

Pam Joraanstad was awarded 2011 Educator of the Year by the Arizona Communication Association.

Theatre professor David Seitz is the second teacher in the state of Arizona to have achieved National Board Certification  in Career and Technical Education in the category of Arts and Communications.

Dr. Ruth Callahan received the 2013 Shofar Zakhor Award from the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors Association for implementing the experiences of survivors and their testimonies into her classroom and beyond.


1967 NJCAA Track and Field Champions (first NJCAA title won at GCC).
1968 NJCAA Baseball National Champions.
1988 NJCAA Football Champions.
1996 Women's basketball team competed in NJCAA Division II Championship.
1991 NJCAA Baseball Champions.
1993 Volleyball coach Lisa Stuck is in the ASU Athletics Hall of Fame.
2000 NJCAA Football Champions;
2005 Gaucho Football team is the only NJCAA football team with an undefeated season, and is inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
2006 Phillippi Sparks (student) and coaches Joe Kersting (football), Dave Grant (baseball), Herb Boetto (baseball) and Pete Pisciotta (athletic director) have been inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame.
2012 The GCC Football team has won the Valley of the Sun Bowl 19 times and counting.
2012 Arizona Community College Association Coach of the Year awards: Ralph Neighbors, Men’s Track and Field (2012); Dan Littlefield, Soccer (2011); Randy Espinoza, Women’s Cross Country (2010); Omid Aziminejad, Women's Soccer (2009); Dave Grant, Baseball (2002); Joe Kersting, Football, 11 awards.
2015 NJCAA Division II National Volleyball Champions, GCC Coach Lisa Stuck, NCJAA Volleyball Coach of the Year and Coach of the Tournament.